Canberra Centre Masthead

Revel in renewal at Ainslie + Gorman

Alexa Sommerville

This weekend is your chance to revel in this glorious autumn weather and celebrate revitalisation with a bit of art, culture and food.

The Ainslie+Gorman Arts Centres, in partnership with Founders Lane, are hosting AUTUMN REVEL, a free family-friendly festival featuring live music, food stalls, maker’s markets, art exhibitions and more.

Amongst the festival fare, organisers are hoping to create a dialogue around urban renewal given the role the creative community plays in Canberra’s development, says Marketing and Development Manager Alistair McGhie.

“Interestingly, the AUTUMN REVEL event has come about through a new partnership with JWLand, who are developing the Founders Lane Apartments between the Gorman Arts Centre and the Canberra Centre,” says Alistair. “We wanted to have an open-day style event to showcase the great resident arts organisations that call the Arts Centres home.

Dai Cameron creating artwork for Autumn Revel.

“The Founders Lane development is on the doorstep of the Gorman Arts Centre, and we were keen to let the ‘future residents’ know more about the arts centre on their doorstep and the vibrant arts precinct that they’ll be moving into.”

Part TED talk, part buddy comedy, with a dash of dystopian science fiction, Never Trust a Creative City was inspired by a conversation about socially-engaged art between Emma McManus and Maria White.

“We started to wonder why cities are interested in branding themselves as ‘creative’,” the pair explain. “Artists make the city a more ‘vibrant’, enjoyable and desirable place to live… but are priced out of the inner city. They have become ‘other’ to the very city they have helped shape.”

Injecting a dose of feminist cheek and self-deprecation into their dismantling of gentrification and the role artists play (positive or otherwise), McManus and White will also be part of a panel discussing the implication and use of the artist in urban redevelopment. On Creative Communities and Urban Renewal is expected to be a provocative conversation with Chris Endrey as MC, Cathy Hope of the University of Canberra, Malcolm Snow, City Renewal Authority CEO, Susan Davis, Planning Manager for the Ginninderry development project, Ronan Moss of COX Architects, and producer and writer Yolande Norris.

Mr Papa, Capital Woodfired Pizza, Loose Gourmet Churros and Bellerophon Coffee will be amongst those providing delicious fare on the day, and you’ll have a chance to shop til you drop at Endeavour Tea, The Biltong Co., Alight Glass, and Zephyr Homemade Candles and Soy Melts.

Kids can delight in a scavenger hunt through the Rabbit Warren, garden games, or Little NLNL (a pop music dance party). There’ll be a Peephole Box Cinema (for strictly one viewer at a time), open studios by printmakers, jewellers, and visual artists to explore, and demonstrations on bead making, portrait photography, and music mixing.

Whether you prefer to revel, rejoice, or simply relax, AUTUMN REVEL has something for you.

the essentials

What: AUTUMN REVEL, a free, fun, family- and foodie-friendly, festival
Where: Gorman Arts Centre, 55 Ainslie Avenue, Braddon
When: Saturday 19 May from 11 am – 4 pm


Alexa Sommerville

Canberra raised Alexa Sommerville has almost completed her Bachelor of Communication in Journalism degree. After five months on exchange in the UK, Alexa fell in love with solo travel and has mastered the art of daydreaming either about her next getaway or her next meal. She enjoys watching health documentaries, online shopping and old-school film photography, but not as much as she does annoying her mother by using every ingredient in the pantry to bake her latest healthy food obsession. Alexa hopes one day to be writing about traveling, or eating, or writing while she travels and eats. More about the Author